State Water Project contractors respond to zero allocation

State increases projected State Water Project deliveries again

For the second time this year, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) has increased the allocation for State Water Project deliveries for 2024.

On Friday, DWR announced an increased allocation of 30 percent of requested supplies, up from the 15 percent allocation update announced last month for contractors south of the Delta. Contractors north of the Delta will receive 50 percent of requested supplies and Feather River Settlement Contractors will receive 100 percent allocation.

The revised allocation forecast is based on snow survey measurements and data up until March 1 and spring runoff forecasts outlined in the latest Bulletin 120, which was released on March 8. The next possible allocation update would come after the next round of snow surveys around April 1. Currently, the statewide snowpack is 98 percent of average for this date.

The State Water Project has been focused on maximizing the capture and storage of water from this winter’s storms. Storage has increased by 630,000 acre-feet at Lake Oroville and by 150,000 acre-feet at San Luis Reservoir since January 1. The ability to move water south through the system has been significantly impacted by the presence of threatened and endangered fish species near the State Water Project pumping facility in the south Delta. The presence of these fish species has triggered requirements within the State and federal permits for the operation of the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project that have significantly reduced pumping from the Delta. This reduction in pumping has limited the ability to move water into San Luis Reservoir.

“DWR continues to take proactive measures and use the best available science to operate our water storage and delivery system to balance water supply needs while protecting native fish species,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth.

Reservoirs continue to be in good shape following two years of above average storms, statewide reservoirs are at 115 percent of average for this time of year, with Lake Oroville, the State Water Project’s largest reservoir, at 125 percent of average and 86 percent of capacity.

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